The US plans to train Ukrainian pilots in the coming weeks

Washington (BLAZETRENDS).- The US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, stressed before the Contact Group for the Defense of Ukraine that providing that country with air defense systems is “crucial” and stressed that they plan to begin the training of Ukrainian pilots in handling F-16 fighters.

“We expect this training to start in the coming weeks. This will strengthen and improve the capacity of the Ukrainian Air Force in the long term and will complement our security arrangements in the short and medium term, ”he said at the opening of a new virtual meeting of that group.

This coalition is made up of those responsible for Defense from all the countries that have given military aid to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion in February 2022 and analyzes in this new meeting the Ukrainian military needs and other issues such as the training of pilots in the handling of the F-16.

The Pentagon spokesman, Brigadier General Pat Ryder, had already indicated this week that the use of the F-16s “will not be relevant” in the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the short term because their delivery is part of the “long-term commitment” to Ukraine.

For Lloyd, the “most important” equipment being provided to Ukraine at the moment is ground-based air defense systems. “These crucial systems are protecting the Ukrainian skies and civilian infrastructure from Russian aggression,” he said.

In total, according to his calculations, all the countries that make up this group have supplied almost 65,000 million dollars.

Russia “hoped that our determination would waver and that our unity would crack. Instead we are as united as ever and the whole world can see it,” Lloyd said, urging his partners to “dig deeper and keep looking for creative ways to boost” their industrial capacity.

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